Above photos taken by Tim Evans and NM staff
2023! Another successful garden tour! This year’s garden tour went very well, 8 gardens were selected from St. James and 2 from Charleswood. Each garden varied from one another, but all were selected because of their degree of ‘distinction’. 8 gardens had never been on a garden tour in the past which was a great selling feature and fun to learn how those gardeners enjoyed the entire experience.
The various gardens included:
Patti and Dave’s garden - Totally back yard TIKI entertainment-oriented with a cute front yard.
Helen’s garden - The reigning queen of Monarch butterfly raising! A super knowledgeable gardener.
Denise’s garden - A garden which proved that veggie beds surrounding the home can be beautiful!
Judy’s garden - Proof that my gardening suggestions can prompt a gorgeous garden! Judy is in my MMGA Discussion group and had asked for my suggestions a few years ago, then followed through with them in the most amazing fashion!
Brian and Ivan’s garden - A labour of love both front and back yard with many unusual plants.
Jeannette and Stewart’s garden - Stewart is the architect and has done a remarkable job with potted plants and much more.
Nicole and Robert’s garden - Entire garden elegance which makes you stop to view.
Alex and Roger’s garden - A showstopper front yard with flower beds surrounding a back yard pool.
Pam’s garden - The only known Italianate rose garden known in Winnipeg. Very elegant!
Guy and Carolyn’s garden - A gorgeous garden with Shona sculptures from Zimbabwe spread out throughout the back garden.
The change of name to “Gardens of Distinction Garden Tour” has also been met with many positive comments. That change was made to be competitive with the other two main tours in Winnipeg.
Following tradition, the two evenings of pre-tours happened Tuesday and Wednesday July 4th and 5th from 7pm to approximately 9:30pm. We toured 5 gardens one evening followed by the other 5 gardens the next evening.
A further tradition was the potluck a week after the garden tour on July 16th at my garden. Most gardeners and volunteers attended and brought food galore!
We did better than last year financially, increasing from $7,200 to $7,700 and we received excellent accolades from the individuals who run the MMGA (Manitoba Master Gardeners Association) and the Urban Retreat Garden tour for the selection of great quality gardens and how it all ran very smoothly.
We added the QR code to the ticket this year which many indicated was a great help to finding the various gardens. The various gardens were marked as handicapped accessible for the first time this year as well.
In 2024, the garden tour will focus on St. Vital, St. Boniface and one garden in Osborne Village. 12 gardens have been selected for 2024 which is the maximum number selected. Once again, next year’s gardens are spectacular!
New for 2024? A few minor changes:
An increase from 10 to 12 gardens. Gardeners requested the QR code from the ticket so they could easily find directions during the pre-tours of each other’s gardens. Volunteers at the various gardens requested a printout of the ticket and have it laminated because people on the tour often asked them questions, they couldn’t answer due to lack of a ticket in hand. Next year the garden ticket sales and plant sale start time will both be at 9am on the day of the tour. Two cash boxes will be used, one for ticket sales and one for plant sales to give members a better breakdown of sales. The posters will indicate where last minute tickets can be purchased at the community garden where the plant sale is also located. This should help boost last minute ticket sales.
Thanks to Tami Bradford who is a newer staff member at Nature Manitoba for her incredible work in getting the brochures, posters and all signage done! I look forward to working with her again for the 2024 tour. Tami was a delight to work with!
Also, thanks to members who contributed the plants for the plant sale as well as the numerous volunteers who participated. I want to thank the amazing gardeners who contributed their time and energy to make our garden tour a reality!
Suggestions are always welcomed to further improve our garden tour. If you have suggestions, please message me at email@example.com or text / call at 204-295-4442.
Written by Tim Evans, Garden Tour Coordinator and Master Gardener